devos from the hill


Leave a comment

Power in Prayer

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
Read the Scripture: 1 John 3:21-24

Would you tag your relationship with God super vibrant? Ultra dull? Or somewhere in between?
This short message from Ray Stedman may shed some light on what makes the difference.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him (1 John 3:21-22).

Part of the reason so many are finding Christianity to be boring is because they are not experiencing the kind of Christian living described in this passage. They have not entered into this kind of relationship, where each day they experience the glorious adventure of seeing a living God at work, answering prayer, and giving to them things that they ask. But in this passage we have a beautiful picture of the normal life of a Christian. It is all centered in prayer, because prayer is the most fundamental relational activity that a Christian can experience. Prayer is the expression of dependence on a loving God, and the whole Christian life is to be characterized by a continuous attitude and spirit of prayer.

Look at the earmarks of true prayer that John brings out in this passage. First, there is the spirit of prayer. We have confidence before God (and the word is, literally, boldness); we have boldness before God. If you have boldness before someone, it implies that you are in a close relationship with that person, that you have a clear right to come before him or her. There is no fear of rebuke but a good understanding between you. Thus, to have confidence or boldness before God implies that you have a clear understanding of your right to come before Him. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Someone Worth Losing Everything For

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
from David Platt

Bigger is better, right?

How many disciples did Jesus have? How many followers? This morning we looked at an excerpt from David Platt’s book, Radical, Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.

Check it out right here: http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/someone-worth-losing-everything-for-11632224.html


Leave a comment

Friendship With God

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
from Oswald Chambers

Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do? — Genesis 18:17

We often think with joy that Jesus is our friend, but what are some of the challenges of His friendship? Why did Abraham stop praying when he did? He was not intimate enough yet to go boldly on until God granted his desire, there was something yet to be desired in his relationship to God.

Read this message from Oswald Chambers for more insight: http://utmost.org/classic/friendship-with-god-classic/


Leave a comment

Christ Our Model

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
from D.L. Moody

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith… Hebrews 12:2a

Is it really possible to be like Christ? The trouble with most people is that their lives are not formed according to any plan. They are not striving to resemble any model. They have no definite aim and purpose.

Check out this brief message from evangelist, D.L. Moody for more insight… http://www.wholesomewords.org/etexts/moody/ourmodel.html


Leave a comment

Active and Passive

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
Read the Scripture: John 15:4-11

Do you ever struggle with the balance between “being” and “doing” – between God’s part and your part? If so, then you might find this short devotional helpful…

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me (John 15:4).

Notice that our Lord divides this passage into two sections. There is an activity that is to be done, and a passivity that is to be acknowledged. We are to remain in Him (that is active, something we do), and we are to let Him remain in us (that is passive, something we allow Him to do). Both these relationships are essential, not one as opposed to the other, but both together.

When our Lord says Remain in me, He is talking about the will, and the decisions we make. We must decide to do things that keep ourselves in contact with Him. The Holy Spirit has placed us into Christ. Now we must maintain that relationship by the decisions we make, such as exposing ourselves to His Word and having a prayer relationship with Him. We remain in Him when we bear one another’s burdens and confess our faults and share in fellowship with one another. All of this is designed to relate to Him: Remain in me. If we do that, we are fulfilling this active, necessary decision of the will to obey His Word.

This is what Bible study and prayer are all about. They are not mere mechanical practices that every Christian ought to do in order to get brownie points with God! No, they are means by which we know Him. If you open your Bible and begin to read it without the conscious expectation that it is going to tell you something about Him, you will read in vain. If you try to pray as though it were some exercise in which you chalk off fifteen minutes’ worth, mechanically going through a list, it is a valueless experience. But if you pray because you are talking with One whom you love and want to know more of, sharing with Him out of the fullness of your heart, then prayer becomes a beautiful experience. That is remaining in Him.

But that is only part of it. Jesus says, Remain in me, and I in you. There is also the other side–Let me remain in you. That has to do with empowerment, enablement. You can make choices, but you cannot fulfill them. And though you are responsible to make choices, you are not responsible for the power to carry them out. There you are to depend on Him, to let Him abide in you. You are to rest upon His ability to see you through. As you venture out on that basis, you expect Him to carry you through.

Both of these are absolutely essential. Making decisions and then trying to do the whole thing yourself is going to produce intense activity, but no results. On the other hand, letting Him take all the responsibility and making no choices at all will also produce a fruitless life. We must determine to expose ourselves to Him; we must seek His face in the Word, in prayer, and in fellowship with others. And then we must count on Him to see us through, to supply that enabling power that makes us able to love and forgive and rejoice and give thanks. When we do, we are remaining in Him and letting Him remain in us.

Father, teach me the proper balance between making hard choices to remain in You and resting in You to do in me what only You can do.

Life Application: What is the tremendous difference between our will power and our activity power – between our power to choose and our power to do?

http://www.raystedman.org/daily-devotions/john-13to17/active-and-passive
Copyright © 2007 by Elaine Stedman — This daily devotion is from the book The Power of His Presence: a year of devotions from the writings of Ray Stedman; compiled by Mark Mitchell. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice and a hyperlink to http://www.RayStedman.org if the copy is posted on the Internet. Please direct any questions you may have to webmaster@RayStedman.org.


Leave a comment

Listening to God

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
Are You Listening to God?

 

We began today’s staff devotional with Exodus 20:19, “They said to Moses, ’You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” Do you prefer to listen to God, or to someone who teaches you about God?

Before you answer, read this devotional from Oswald Chambers . . .http://utmost.org/are-you-listening-to-god/


Leave a comment

7 Realities of Experiencing God

Mars Hill Staff Devotional

We took an abbreviated look at the 7 Realities of Experiencing God from the “Experiencing God” study by Blackaby and King. Our relationship and fellowship with God grows by His initiation in our lives, and by our response to His initiation. How deep do you want your fellowship in Jesus to be? It is as deep as your response level to Him.

1. God is always at work around you.
2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real
and personal.
3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer,
circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes,
and His ways.
5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a
crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in
what He is doing.
7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He
accomplishes His work through you.

858387_1_ftc

To learn more about this great study, click here:  http://www.blackaby.net/expgod/